Piano Exercises For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Before you begin piano exercises, warm up your wrists, shoulders, and other body parts. Doing so helps the physical component of playing the piano by heightening awareness of your body and the way you move. After a few stretches and warm-ups, you can bring a relaxed awareness to the piano when you practice.

Follow these steps for an effective wrist warm-up:

  1. Hold your hands in front of you, palms facing away, as if you are pushing against a wall with both hands.

  2. With a loose wrist, slowly circle your hands both clockwise and counterclockwise.

  3. Bring your hands together in front of you like you're praying, palm-to-palm, finger-to-finger, and extend your elbows out to the side.

  4. Slowly rotate your wrists so that your fingers point toward you, and then away from you, and finally down to the ground.

  5. Repeat a few times as you loosen your wrists.

Physical tension can easily become incorporated into your playing through the necessary repetition of practicing. So it's very important to develop a pattern of releasing your muscles as you play and building this pattern into your playing. Doing this also becomes a way to unify the physical and mental components of music making, because staying comfortable while you play requires constant monitoring for areas of discomfort.

About This Article

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About the book author:

David Pearl is the author of eight books on music, including The Art of Steely Dan and Color Your Chords. He has taught piano and performed jazz and classical music professionally for more than 30 years. His transcriptions and arrangements are published in many music books and magazines, including jazz transcriptions of the artists Grover Washington, Jr., Dave Douglas, Roland Hanna, and Wynton Marsalis. He has taught piano and performed jazz and classical music professionally for more than 30 years.

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